Well tonight is All Hallow’s Eve and what better way to celebrate than with a Top 10 List. Everyone loves those right? xD I was originally going to do a top 10 horror manga list, but I haven’t read that much horror manga yet, so I decided instead to do a character list. So here are my top 10 favourite characters that are either demons, spirits, undead, or other creatures of the night:

10. Brook (from One Piece ~ manga/anime)

I’m not a huge Brook fan, but I think he’s a pretty cool character and this is the first time I’ve ever actually liked a living skeleton, so that says something! There are parts of his character I don’t quite like (the really bad jokes), but for the most part I think he works remarkably well, especially since he’s quite cowardly yet most people find him creepy because he is literally just a walking set of bones. I find it ironically funny that someone, who could use his appearance to strike fear into others, is instead very spooked of supernatural and spooky things himself. It’s a nice subversion and probably what I appreciate the most about Brook. His laid back and fun nature is another, and of course who could not like a gentleman skeleton~

9. Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez (from Bleach ~ manga/anime)

This is totally my guilty pleasure pick. Grim just oozes sexy. I mean, it cannot be coincidence that he walks around with his shirt open or shirtless most of the time, and that he’s the sexta Espada. ;) But in all seriousness, I really liked his backstory. It added a more human layer to him without totally destroying how brutal Hollow really are. In other words, it made the monster more than just a mindless killer without destroying the monster, and I really appreciate that about Gimmjow. Plus he fills the werebeast and evil spirit niche on my list~

8. Hades (from Olimpos ~ manga)

Hades is the only one on this list that was picked purely from a design perspective. The manga doesn’t really delve into his character; he’s basically left an enigma and I believe that works well for what the manga was trying to go for thematically. However, that means as a reader, I wasn’t really able to connect with him. Still I simply love the design for Hades here. There is a subtle grotesqueness to his design that I absolutely love. The picture above doesn’t quite capture it but this Hades is cover in black fur and is half-human half animal. I think this sort of design fits perfectly for the god of the dead, and it is basically what sold me on this Hades. The enigmatic aspect of him complements it even further, I think. Plus being a Greek mythos nut, how could I not have at least one incarnation of Hades for a list of supernatural or undead characters. ;)

7. Kaito (from Fairy Cube ~ manga)

One of the reasons I found Kaito so intriguing is because he is one of the few examples of an incubus (male version of succubus) in anime and manga, and his demonic nature isn’t played straight. He’s not there to seduce women, although he can do that quite well. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised how his backstory subverted much of how incubus and succubus are usually portrayed in media. Outside of that, I liked how the manga kept you guessing just where Kaito’s loyalties lay and just what his goals were. He isn’t much higher because character-wise, while interesting, he wasn’t very nuanced and that is most likely because Fairy Cube is a 3 volume manga, so there was not much room to really develop his character further.

6. Gash Bell (from Konjiki no Gash Bell! ~ manga/anime)

I’m a big fan of Konjiki no Gash Bell! Loved the anime and I am loving the manga. Gash is of course so damn adorable and he has all my favourite traits: strong-willed, loyal, and idealistic. Plus he’s a demon child, so he totally fits on this list. :P His whimsical nature also adds to his charm. In short, he totally charmed his way into my heart. I have a couple of other characters that I really like from Konjiki no Gash Bell as well, but Gash is the most iconic character, and I think from the demon children, he is my favourite (although Tio and Brago are close favourites too).

5. Yuuko Ichihara (from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles/xxxholic ~ manga/anime)

I had a hard time deciding which witch character to put on this list. I love Sakura from CCS and she is technically a witch, but I think Yuuko fits best because she’s much closer to the classic idea of a witch (plus she’s technically, well you know, and fits rather well on this list as a result). Now my experience with Yuuko is pretty limited right now. I’ve only read Tsubasa and 1 volume of xxxholic, but from what I’ve seen, I really like her. She’s savvy and powerful. She’s has knowledge and influence and is a key player. In short, she is the closest witch I’ve come across in manga and anime that resembles a classic witch (powerful and knowledgeable older woman) and I’m always looking for more older women who are powerful, smart, and influential; so Yuuko definitely scratches that itch.

4. Impmon (from Digimon Tamers ~ anime)

Ok, yeah Impmon is a digimon and they aren’t demons or undead creatures, but Impmon is based on an, well, Imp, who are dark mythological creatures. Plus his design is totally devil-like, so he fits. And he turns into this menacing Digimon. Now the reason Impmon is on my list isn’t because he’s cute (even though I do appreciate that), but because I liked how he was developed in Digimon Tamers. Impmon is our anti-hero and I like a good anti-hero, so I liked his story arc. It may have been a bit cliché, but you rarely see anti-heroes do something really horrible and seek redemption (and achieve it). I truly believed that Impmon was sorry for what he did. The anime really convinced me of that, so I think he’s an excellent anti-hero. Also, I liked how Impmon’s story played around with the idea that human children aren’t necessary all nice and sweet. I thought this was a nice touch and really made it believable that Impmon didn’t want to rely on humans to evolve.

3. Deimos (from Bride of Deimos ~ manga)

Now demons (or vampires) who want human brides are like a dime a dozen now, but in this case, Bride of Deimos still manages to shine because unlike the rest of these stories, which are written as supernatural fantasies, Bride of Deimos is very much a gothic horror manga, and you don’t see many of them. And it’s not just because it is a gothic horror manga, but also because it is a good one. The author manages to create a feeling of dread in each story because you know someone is going to suffer horribly. Deimos isn’t there to woo Minako, he never really does anything really “nice” for her. In fact, it’s not even her that he wants, but her body so that he can use it as a container for his sister and lover Venus. Yes, in true shoujo fashion that does change, but he doesn’t suddenly start wooing Minako even when he finds himself slowly starting to think less of her as a container and more as a person. And while this would normally cause me to roll my eyes, it works with Deimos because it deepens his character. He still loves Venus very much, but now he has to deal with these other feelings and the fact that he’s a cursed man (was originally a god, but was punished for his incestuous love by being turn into a demon). Does he even have the right to love anymore? And while dark brooding man is so common now, it works so well here because this aspect of Deimos strengthens the gothic horror of the manga and likewise, the gothic horror strengthens the idea of Deimos as the classic brooding cursed monster. All in all, Deimos succeeds where other shoujo with a similar premise fail precisely because it is gothic horror done right (well for all 7 volumes that we got in English at least).

2. Ryuk (from Death Note ~ manga/anime)

I think Ryuk may be my favourite character from Death Note. I absolutely adore how he’s just in it for the shits and giggles and isn’t Light’s ally at all. Plus his design is actually scary and that’s always a big plus in these sorts of lists. I also like his laugh. xD He’s just an all around fun character.

1. Clare (from Claymore ~ manga/anime)

So this may be cheating a little since Clare was technically human but became a quarter monster by volunteering in order to, well, that’s a spoiler so I won’t say why, but she is part monster so I’m putting her on my list. >:) Plus this list is seriously missing more female creatures of the night because there aren’t that many good ones. Either they’re shallow fan service caricatures, or just not a character I really like all that much. Clare is one of my favourite female classic heroes. She’s strong, silent, morally upright, and has a will as strong as steel. In short, she’s a really cool character and not oversexualized at all. We don’t see that enough; so yes, I’m just spreading more Clare love~

Noteworthy Mentions:

Aji Tae (from Shin Angyo Onshi ~ manga)

Aji Tae, while not a very interesting character, makes a very good villain and foil to Munsu, so I appreciate that about him. Plus he eats other demonic beings to gain their power (by biting off their heads) and he looked downright creepy in his sealed form. And I just can’t help but love a villain with a twisted philosophical stance. He’s sort of almost refreshing because he plays the demonic being so straight.

Alice (from Pandora Hearts ~ anime/manga)

I think she’s one of the few tsunderes that isn’t too over the top, but what I really like about her is that she turns into a Hell Bunny with a scythe! Now that’s cool. Yeah, ok my scythe bias is shining through, I know. ^__^;; Still Alice has the potential to be a pretty interesting character. I’ve only watched the anime, which ended prematurely. Alice starts out with zero memories, so you don’t really know anything about her except that she’s a chain (demon-like creature that must form a contract with a human to continue to exist in the human world) with somewhat violent tendencies and likes meat.

Who are your favourite creatures of the night characters from anime and manga?

–SW

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